CPI-M says its intervention saved Indian financial sector, jobs

March 16th, 2009 - 2:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, March 16 (IANS) The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) Monday claimed credit for protecting thousands of jobs and the money invested in insurance, banking and pension, saying only constant Left intervention had kept the country’s financial sector healthy.
Releasing the party’s election manifesto here, general secretary Prakash Karat said if the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, had its way, people’s hard earned money invested in insurance and pension schemes would have been sunk in stock markets.

“It is because of us (Left) that not a single private bank has collapsed,” Karat told the press conference, adding that this was because the proposals to hike foreign equity to 74 percent in banking and 49 percent in insurance were blocked by the Left front.

He said the Manmohan Singh government wanted to allow insurance and pension companies to invest a part of the money in the stock markets. “If that had happened, the money would have gone up in smoke,” he said.

“Sum total of our effort has been to protect the financial sector, protect the economy and protect the jobs and livelihood of lakhs (hundreds of thousands) of people,” said the fiery Communist leader.

He said it was ironic that a few days before the announcement of elections, some changes were made in the country’s foreign investment policy, which, he alleged, allowed back-door entry for multinationals into areas otherwise protected for domestic entities.

Karat said the Left parties had been instrumental in keeping companies like Wal-Mart away from the retail trade business in the country. Otherwise, he said, thousands of small traders in the country would have been wiped out.

He also said that action must be taken against those who had stashed away their ill-gotten money in secret Swiss bank accounts and urged the Manmohan Singh government to write to the Swiss authorities asking for related information.

“This is something the government can do. It won’t invoke the model code of conduct,” he said, adding the governments of the US and Britain had also sought similar information from the Swiss authorities.

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